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Old 06-11-2007, 06:24 AM
2 posts, read 9,358 times
Reputation: 11
I am possibly relocating to Corvallis for a job that pays around $30,000. I'm a bit concerned about what kind of job market there is for my partner. Are Hewlett Packard and OSU the main employers? I'm not sure that he could find a job at either of those. His background is in sociological research. He does not have a PhD nor is he on the professor / lecturer track.

housing market / median income / cost of living...
I am aware that a good portion of the population is college students. Does this fact skew the city's statistics in regards to the above list? The numbers I read make the city appear to be somewhat affordable... But I would hate to be in for a big surprise. We are now in our 30's, have loads of student loans, yet would like to own a home someday.

In the meantime... Do that many apartments in Corvallis really have a mold / mildew problem? I may have to choose an apartment complex on line for the initial move. The apartment ratings I've been reading tend to be on the scary side.

Thank you so much to anyone who can offer their knowledge and experience.
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Old 06-11-2007, 12:28 PM
Location: Portland Metro
2,301 posts, read 4,211,138 times
Reputation: 2733
Hi chick pea. H-P and OSU are the main employers in town. $30k is a little low to maintain a household here, but it can be done. There may be some opportunities for your partner at OSU--i.e. research assistantships. He can probably find work outside of his field either in Corvallis or in Albany (10 miles away). A new Lowe's Home Improvement distribution center just opened in Lebanon which is about 15 miles away. Then there's Salem to the north (about 40 miles) and Eugene to the south (about 50 miles). There may be more jobs available in his field in either Salem or Eugene. Salem is the state capitol.

Obviously affordability is relative--it depends on where you are coming from. Corvallis has been called the 2nd most expensive city in Oregon. I'm not sure if this is true anymore, but it is certainly less affordable than neighboring cities. Starter homes run about $200k. Some friends of mine are selling their home--asking price is $219,000--and it is definitely a starter home. Houses in this price range sell pretty fast.

As for the quality of rentals, you would do much better to view them before renting. But if this isn't an option, summertime is the best time to have a short-term rental. Many complexes offer month-to-month tenancy or short-term (3-month) leases and lower their rates during the summer since the students are gone. Then if you don't like where you're living you can take your time to look for another place and get out pretty easily. Mold and mildew may be a problem in some places but I wouldn't say it is widespread.
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:23 PM
1 posts, read 4,665 times
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Default Corvallis is a great place Chickpea...

I have recently moved to Corvallis, so I've been through the apartment hunting and settling in ordeal. First, Hewlitt-Packard, OSU and the hospital system are the largest employers in Corvallis. Not sure what type of employment might be available for a Sociologist, but many factors enter into the employment picture.

Most of the newer apartments employ mechanical systems (whole house fans) that are run on a timer to keep the mold and mildew problem down. But I really haven't heard many complaints regardless of the date of construction.

I came here from Ohio and the cost of housing here is about 30% higher, in general. Corvallis is a rather expensive place to live compared to the surrounding area, and when my lease expires, I'll be prepared to "slip across the river" to Linn County for less expensive housing opportunities.

But overall, I believe you will fall in love with this area, as I have. From my apartment, I view the Cascade mountain range to the East, and the Coast Range to the West. A short 50 minute drive is all that's required to be at Newport on the beautiful Oregon coast.

Downtown Corvallis is a delight. The city has "fought" the introduction of big box stores, so the vast majority of businesses are "Mom and Pop" shops, with the quality and variety you would expect. The people are friendly and helpful. And oh yeah, be prepared because bicycles and pedestrians rule the streets...as it should be. Nearly every street in Corvallis has a dedicated bike lane, and there are many, many miles of exclusive bike and walking paths.

The city is clean and virtually crime free. Traffic is quite manageable, and the drivers are courteous. Overall, it's a great place to live...if you can afford it.

Our other poster was right....$30K is going to be tight in Corvallis, but it can be done. It really depends on the lifestyle to which you are accostomed.

I hope this was just a little bit helpful. Best of luck to you in your move.
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:36 PM
2 posts, read 9,358 times
Reputation: 11
Default thank you

I really appreciate both of you taking the time to address my questions. I guess that this decision will be even harder than I thought.
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:46 PM
Location: Albany, OR
540 posts, read 2,046,741 times
Reputation: 359
chick pea,
I agree with the posts above. Corvallis is a great town, but the $30K income is going to make it very tight. When my family and I moved to the area 6 years ago we looked in Corvallis and ended up buying a home in Albany. The commute is very easy and the housing is much more affordable (both buying and renting).
As for your partner's employability...what does he want to do? It seems to me that there may be some wide applicability to his background in marketing research here (and there are a couple of possibilities there). Unemployment in the Willamette Valley is fairly high since the demise of the logging industry...but there are quite a few employers in Albany/Lebanon:
Lowes (mentioned above), Pacific Cast Technologies, Oregon Freeze Dried, Wah Chang, Selmet, Plenty of Retail and Customer Service-type jobs, Target Distribution Center...
It really all depends on what he wants to do.

Best of luck.
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